NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 29, 2005

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act being debated in the Senate would end a decade of lawsuits designed to put gunmakers out of business, says Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

The act doesn't "shield" gunmakers or give them special "immunity." It wouldn't give gunmakers any more protection than any other industry has. It simply ensures that gunmakers have equal protection from third-party liability that other industries already enjoy. Gunmakers and sellers are still liable for defective products or violating the myriad of laws regulating sales, says LaPierre.


  • Passage of the act is urgent because gun makers have spent more than $200 million defending against such lawsuits, yet the entire industry combined wouldn't qualify as a Fortune 500 company.
  • It's critical because, as the Bush administration points out, the act protects our military's procurement needs; without America's small-arms capability, we must turn to foreign shores for munitions necessary to defend our national security.
  • The Department of Defense supports the act because it helps ensure the military readiness of our armed forces and peace officers.
  • It's fair, reflected in its bipartisan Senate support.

No other industries are forced to defend themselves when a violent criminal they do not know, have never met and cannot control misuses a legal, non-defective product. America's firearm manufacturers deserve the same fair treatment, says LaPierre.

Source: Wayne LaPierre, "No special 'immunity': Gunmakers just want the same protection other industries enjoy," USA Today, July 29, 2005; and National Rifle Association, "Gun industry under fire," USA Today, July 29, 2005.


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